Illinois-Based AAU Teams Already Flexing Their Muscle Nationally
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Illinois-Based AAU Teams Flexing Their Muscle Nationally


Brian Stinnette
April 12, 2004

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Illinois-based AAU teams are flexing their muscle nationally in the early goings of the AAU season. The Rising Stars, Meanstreets and the Illinois Warriors have all been strong in early tournaments. The state of Illinois is poised to be very strong nationally in a number of different age groups.

The Rising Stars put out a great effort in winning both the 15-U and 16-U tournaments at the prestigious Las Vegas Easter Classic. The Rising Stars have a national reputation for being fundamentally sound, and playing hard at all times. They put on a clinic this weekend by winning a pair of tournaments that also featured the high-powered Houston Hoops and SoCal All-Stars.

Meanstreets 17-U squad opened their AAU season by mauling a slew of opponents in the Beantown Massacre in Boston, Massachusetts. Meanstreets, which won the 16-U National Championship a year ago, is loaded with Division I talent. Jerel McNeal (Hillcrest), Maurice Acker (Hillcrest), Joevan Catron (Thornton), Donnell Lyons (Thornton), Brandon Ewing (Chicago Julian) and Mike Robinson (Chicago Hales Franciscan) provides’s Meanstreets with plenty of ammunition on both ends of the floor. Meanstreets may not have a lot of size, but they are capable of taking out any team in the country.

The Illinois Warriors 17-U squad finished a strong second at the Boo Williams Invitational in Hampton, Virginia. The Warriors lost in the championship game to highly regarded Louis Williams and the Georgia Stars. The Warriors, led by Julian Wright (Homewood-Flossmoor) and Jon Scheyer (Glenbrook North), still served notice that they will again be among the best teams in the country.

Later this month, the Illinois Warriors, Meanstreets and Mike Mullins’ 17-U Illinois Wolves will all be in action in Houston, Texas at the Kingwood Classic. The Wolves, who are led by Bobby Frasor (Chicago Brother Rice), Mike Davis (Chicago Gordon Tech), Bryan Mullins (Downers Grove South) and Sead Odzic (Niles West), are also highly regarded nationally.

Ferrari’s 15-U AAU team, which features Derrick Rose (Chicago Simeon), Tim Flowers (Chicago Simeon) and Trey Blue (Thornwood), are strong contenders to win the 15-U national title. The Rising Stars 15-U team with Michael Thompson (Chicago Lincoln Park), Jeffrey Jordan (Loyola) and Ceola Clark (Warren) served notice in Las Vegas that they will be contenders as well.

From top to bottom it should be a very, very good year for Illinois-based AAU teams.